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Bit of a choppy ride, this one - I'm tempted to go with just three, but I guess I'm in a good mood with the way Knockin' turned out at the encore, so a kind four on this first night of their Hampton '88 run.
Set 1 - they manage to balance out the mix nicely halfway through Bucket to give it a rip-roaring feel - followed immediately by Sugaree you could do a lot worse for an opener!
All that Stir it Up hype is just that, hype. This is more in the vain of Beer Barrel Polka or the Merry-Go-Round-Broke-Down than any serious go at reggae. Just don't get all hot and bothered seeing it in the setlist. It's cute, but nothing special.
They get the ol' copper kettle boiling hot with Minglewood; that tune and Jimmy make the first set worth it, but you may want to stop the set here, as Bobby has a hard time trying to do justice to Memphis Blues. Those long psychedelic wordplays from Dylan need immense focus to pull off, and considering how many times Bobby miraculously nailed all those lyrics in the past, you can afford to pass this one up.
Set 2 - The Playin' here is the goods for me - Jerry finds the most lovely and delicate UJB-esque line to play when the Main Ten starts - makes a natural segue to UJB proper - love, love, love this part of the jam...Mickey gets the Beam going immediately when the Drums start up - don't just dismiss this foray into Oz - they really make an effort at something special here, and the boys come back out and do justice to what Mickey and Billy laid down by bringing us back to Earth.
Post-Space is the usual suspects for this era - nothing terribly exciting, although the quality of the recording has this immediacy to it that gives it a nice illusion of energy - I just can't STAND the way Bobby mugs and drools all over Watchtower here - is a shame, too, because Jerry's solo is as good as ever. Take this part of the show or leave it...
....it takes Jerry, at the encore, to show Bobby how to really do a Dylan song proper justice. You can even hear Bobby attempting "harmony" in the background, clearly not getting the message - I mean, jesus, how much did that guy drink at halftime?!? I'm not one for ubiquitous "Bobby-bashing", but in efforts like this I can see why some deadheads so indulge.
Subject: Great show - funny blog post
Ed Watts has a pretty funny blog post involving this show:
Subject: Stir it up WOO-HOOO !!!
What else can you say...Stir it up and then we go row with Jimmy.....Imagine if the Dead would have intergrated more reggae..Jerry would tear up "No woman no cry"..Or "Johnny was a good man"..goosebumps man !
Subject: A solid, yet unhyped year
Overall a very good performance
One of the finer periods for Row Jimmy, and this is where the show really shines.
Bobbie guitar gets a bit cheesy for me in china cat.
Subject: very nice
there are a number of videos from this show on youtube that all have great sound quality. It is very cool to see the band having so much fun with tunes like Stuck inside of Mobile. check it out.
East Coast Dave in WA -
Subject: Great Spring 88 show
The whole Hampton Run was about as good as the Dead got on this tour (the Brendan Byrne run is up there, too). This was a spirited and fun show. The Stir It Up hasn't aged well, but it was a blast for those of us who were there. Jerry sounds pumped and his vocals were as good as it was possible for him to be at this point in his life/career (he flubs a lyric here and there, but gets by on feeling alone).
The second set Playin' is a spacey jammed treat (there wasn't much free-form out of the boys this year), and the entire second set is more-or-less top notch for the late 80's. Get this show if you can. What I'd have given a 4.5 stars if it was an option becomes 5 because of the sweet sounding recording by "Mister Charlie"
Alex, Geddy, Neil, Jerry, Bobby, Phil, Brent, Mickey, Billy -
Subject: 3 Rippers in a Row
i was at this show... i'd bet my left arm this Stir It Up was off the cuff.
Memphis Blues, Thin Man [the next night], they're doing these songs better than the previous summer with Dylan!
i've only ever heard AUD sources of this particular Hampton run (all VG to excellent, IMO, and i am a SBD snob), great to hear an old fav of mine get the Charlie Miller treatment.
Weir is LOUD and was certainly more out in front spring '88 than in the previous few years.
4.5 for the performance, 5.0 for Charlie and big ups to the tapers.
Subject: Nice for a late 80's Show!
Ok, this one's a bit odd. The only Stir It Up played by GD ever (of course Jerry Band did it)...they only make it about one verse, and its quite obviously either a goof or completely unrehearsed. Although, the last time through the chorus they hit nice 3 part harmony that makes it worth it. The Minglewood after this makes it well worth the price of admission though. Overall sound quality is nice, the board has some nice audience sound which livens up things but never gets in the way. This is the era of 'BIG DEAD' they know how to work the crowd and they do it...you can hear the ocean of people rise and fall with the music and the band rides the wave. Jerry's vocals sound much better than some shows I remember from that year, but time, smokes and the big H have taken its toll.